Despite the Baltimore Ravens’ 9-4 record, the season kind of feels like it is starting to slip away. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was axed on Monday morning as Ozzie Newsome attempted to shake up an underachieving and stagnant offense.
Underachieving can also be used to describe the Ravens’ defense as well as the team is on pace for the worst defensive season in franchise history.
Cameron’s firing must have been a harsh reality for Ravens’ defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who is in his first year as the defensive coordinator. Cameron had experienced a good amount of success during his tenure as offensive coordinator, but still ultimately lost his job.
Considering the defensive woes and the current sense of panic around the Ravens, could Pees be the next coaching head to roll?
The Ravens’ defense currently ranks 25th in the league in yards allowed per game and both the run defense and pass defense are equally horrible.
The Ravens are allowing 246.6 passing yards per game and now must contend with the likes of Peyton Manning, Eli Manning and Andy Dalton the final three games of the season. Thus, expect the Ravens’ pass defense to get even worse and finish in an unprecedented spot.
The pass defense has only held an opposing quarterback under 200 yards passing three times, while ranking a mediocre 15th in sacks.
Further condemning Pees is the fact that the Ravens’ run defense is even worse than the pass defense.
Running for 100 yards against the Ravens used to be a special feat for opposing running backs, but it has become more of a formality this season. The Ravens have surrendered over 100 yards on the ground eight times this season and have allowed more than 170 yards rushing four times.
The Ravens were very fortunate Sunday that both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals suffered upset losses. However, if the Ravens can’t fix their defensive woes and take care of their own schedule, they could very well miss the playoffs.
Even if the Ravens can hold onto a playoff spot, if the defense remains Swiss-cheese-like down the stretch and then gets torched in the playoffs, Pees’ job could be in peril.
The firing of Cameron must be considered a wake-up call for players and coaches alike. Considering all of the struggles of the defense, and the recent move from the front office, Pees must feel like he is on the chopping block.
The Ravens are a franchise that was founded on defense, and in a season where the defense has been brutal, Pees could find himself in the coaching unemployment line next to Cameron before he knows it.